January can provide some excellent fishing if you pick your days and consider the weather. Water temperatures can plummet when arctic cold fronts arrive. The inland waters are much clearer because the algae and other microorganisms that cloud the water in summer die off. Redfish tend to school up more in larger groups during winter. Because the metabolism of the fish slows down in the cold, it’s necessary to use smaller baits and present them much slower.
Reds, sheepshead, yellowmouth and speckled trout, black drum, porgies, bluefish, and black sea bass are all tolerant of the cold, and are fun to target in winter. Reds can be caught along the jetty rocks throughout the year. Reds and trout will also seek warmer water on shallow mud flats warmed by the sun in the back country. Sheepshead, porgies, and drum will be in deeper water along the jetty rocks. Bluefish can show up anywhere and are always hungry. Keeper size black sea bass are more consistently found offshore over live bottom.
Surf fishing on warmer, less windy days should provide catches of whiting, drum, bluefish, and the occasional pompano. The best baits include fresh dead shrimp, sand fleas and clam.